According to a study entitled Influencing Young Americans To Act , which was conducted by the organization INFLUENCE|SG in partnership with the Case Foundation, American youth are highly concerned with social issues pertaining to civil rights and racial discrimination.
With this study the Case Foundation, a company that prides itself on investing in people and ideas that can change the world, and INFLUENCE|SG, which advises leaders in companies and causes by conducting guided research, hopes to learn how “we can make real strides toward improving the world around us.”
The study focused on a group of 1,100 young Americans between the ages of 18-30. Of those interviewed for the study, 56 percent of participants on the panel were white, 15 percent were black and 13 percent were Asian. Among those interviewed, civil rights and racial discrimination were found to be top issues, with gun safety, immigration and climate change following close behind. However, after breaking down the issues by race, the study found that civil rights and racial discrimination were issues of concern for African Americans and Asians, while Caucasians were more concerned with healthcare reform, and Hispanic citizens focused more on immigration.
Managing Director of INFLUENCE|SG Derrick Feldmann told Blavity that the proportions were intentional, and the numbers were meant to reflect the racial breakdown of young Americans in the study's age bracket.
“Our research found that African Americans had the highest rate of participation in a movement of any race/ethnicity,” Feldmann said. “Thirty-eight percent got involved in #BlackLivesMatter, while no other race/ethnicity had more than 20 percent participation in any movement.”
Other key findings centered around how young people acted once they learned of an issue. According to the study, 66 percent of those on the panel planned on voting in November 2018, and most agreed they were more likely to sign a petition or attend a protest to get involved, as opposed to solely depending on social media.
The Cause and Influence Initiative and INFLUENCE|SG will continue to explore the data and share its findings, so that movement leaders, nonprofit coordinators, social entrepreneurs and other companies will not only have a greater understanding of what social issues young Americans care deeply about, but also learn why these issues are of importance to them.
“Who and what is inspiring them? What can we do if someone or some entity is abusing their influence? How can we, as young Americans, tell when we’re being influenced?” Feldman queried, while describing how the collected data could improve the world. “The more we know, the more we all can work honestly and effectively toward the change we seek.”
The Case Foundation and Influence|SG plan on continuing their examination of social movements through the Cause and Social Influence initiative.
“In the coming year, we will be releasing new reports on the power of influence, in addition to benchmarks on the campaigns — moments and movements in the United States that are moving young America to act,” Feldmann said. “Lastly, we will be hosting small convenings in cities across the country to continue this important conversation,all leading to the next summit in the fall of 2019.”
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